|Urhobo Historical Society|
God’s Kingdom Society:
REPORT OF MINISTERS’ CONFERENCE
|Subject:||2003 GOD’S KINGDOM SOCIETY (GKS) MINISTERS’ CONFERENCE REPORT.|
|Date:||Wed, 09 Jul 2003 20:00:41 +0200|
|From:||God’s Kingdom Society <email@example.com>|
|To:||Urhobo Historical Society <Urhobo@KinsFolk.com>|
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
HAIL JEHOVAH AND JESUS CHRIST!
REPORT OF MINISTERS CONFERENCE 2003
Glory, honour and adoration be to JEHOVAH, the Architect and Sustainer of the entire universe Who is now gathering His people into His Kingdom through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It is with joy in the Lord that I convey to you the report of the 2003 Ministers Conference held in Salem City Warri from Thursday June 19 to Saturday June 21, 2003. The Conference was declared open by the President Brother O. E. Aighalua, who also presided over all the sessions by God’s grace. Goodwill messages were received from the Laity Secretariat, GKS Youth Fellowship, Women Fellowship, Students Fellowship, Administrative Committees of GKS Warri, DSC, Effurun, London, Rumuokoro, Port Harcourt (Town), Benin City, Okota, Sapele, Aba, Apapa, CWC Lagos State Branches, GKS Women Fellowship Suleja/Abuja among others, besides messages from groups, individual members and their families.
The highlight of the opening session on Thursday was the address of the President to all adult members of the Lord’s Ministry, on the Conference theme, “PRESSING TOWARDS THE MARK”. (Philippians 3:14) The President emphasized the essence of the calling of Ministers, which is to turn people to righteousness, stating that it is by continued dedication to that task to the end, that they shall be blessed by God with salvation in His Kingdom fully established. The Vice President, Brother S. C. Nwaeke, who returned from the United Kingdom, June 10, 2003, also addressed an interactive session in which Ministry Sisters were present on the exhortation, ”Walking worthy of our Vocation”, drawn from Ephesians 4:1-3. He charged the ministers, their wives and children to be exemplary in word and deed so as to justify their positions in the Lord’s Ministry.
The Conference devoted substantial time to the hearing of reports on various areas of the work of God. These include Evangelism (by The President, delivered by the Publicity Secretary) Business (by the Vice President, delivered by the Financial Secretary, Brother O. D. Akinwale) Works and Maintenance (delivered on behalf of the Vice President by Brother T. O. Ugoji) Secretariat Report (given by the General Secretary) Finance and Accounts (by the Treasurer) Education (by Brother J. E. Ikoba) Properties of the Church (by Brother G. O. Ifeacho).
From the reports, it was evident that God’s hand is on the Church for good. The Lord’s Ministry thanks God Almighty for the strides attained within the year under review. Apart from the spiritual growth and the spectacular and awe-inspiring instances of deliverance given members by God, it was announced to Conference that the Certificate of Occupancy of a parcel of land at Owerri has been handed over to the Church by the Imo State government. Again the payment for another site comprising eight plots of land also in Owerri is almost completed. The Church has also made purchases of land at Orji-Uratta (near Owerri) and Ozoro (Isoko, Delta State) while negotiations are still on for land at the centre of Abuja. Also the Service Halls at Onitsha, Okokomaiko (Lagos), Jos, Rumuokoro (near Port Harcourt) and Makurdi have either been roofed, given facelift or are now in use.
The Lord’s Ministry will continue with the current policy of ensuring that lectures are well planned for and packaged properly in order to have the required impact.
The Conference saw the urgency of ensuring increased funding and sustenance of the Watch and Pray Programme in terms of production, airing, purchase and maintenance of equipment. The Ministers expressed great uneasiness that the Watch and Pray Programme is not being broadcast in Abuja and Lagos the political and commercial nerve centres of Nigeria. Consequently, a Central Watch and Pray Fund will be set up to which all members will contribute. Also possible investments that will yield steady revenue for the Church to fund Watch and Pray Programme will be pursued vigorously.
It was resolved that during the rainy season, Station Ministers should hold doctrinal Services and advertise such very well in order to sensitize the public while outdoor activities especially in rural areas should be intensified in the dry season. Also the Students’ Fellowship in the various higher institutions of higher learning should ensure that they place banners or sign boards advertising the GKS in their various campuses.
To enhance the drive for evangelism, a Committee headed by the Vice President was set up to work out the activities for the year in the area of evangelism and report back to the Executive Board for ratification and implementation. Other members of the Committee are Brothers G. O. Ifeacho, F. E. Adedokun, J. E. Ikoba, C. U. Eze, S. M. O. Ayavoro, B. T. Hart, and O. D. Akinwale.
A number of doctrinal issues were discussed at the Conference. They include the issue of Jephthah’s vow and whether women will rise in the Better Ressurection at the same time as the patriarchs to rule in the light of Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:28,29.
The Ministers discussed extensively once again the issue of whether Jephthah killed his daughter for a burnt offering or whether she remained an unmarried woman who was dedicated to the service of God. The position of the Lord’s Ministry is that the story stresses the importance of and blessing in keeping one’s vows. What the Church had been emphasizing right from her infancy is knowledge of the basic doctrines of the Church, the belief and practice of which will lead one to salvation by God’s grace. Whether Jephthah killed his daughter or not is not explicitly stated in the Bible. We should preach what we know and leave out what is not clear until such is revealed. (See John 3:11; Philippians 3:15,16) Entangling ourselves in the argument over whether Jephthah killed or did not kill his daughter is not a prerequisite for salvation. Members should therefore allow the issue to rest at this point.
Women and Better Resurrection
Following the Ministers Conference report of 1999 about the place of women within the context of Matthew 8:11 and Luke 13:28,29, some members have asked whether women will participate in the Better resurrection. After extensive discussion, the Ministers reaffirmed their earlier position on the matter which is that the account of Hebrews Chapter 11 shows clearly that women will participate in the Better Resurrection. But with particular reference to Matthew 8: 11 and Luke 13: 28,29, they will not resurrect at the same time with the Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Prophets as these would be resurrected to team up with faithful Christians alive then to take over rulership of the Kingdom of God on earth. -Isaiah 32:1; Daniel 2:44.
For further enlightenment of members, the facts are as follows: The First Resurrection comprises Jesus Christ and the Anointed Christians. But all those in the First Resurrection are not to rise at the same time. Christ resurrected first, and then the dead apostles were raised up at his second coming. The remaining ones of the apostles’ class who are chosen in these last days, known as the Remnant – like St. G. M. Urhobo – will also be taken to heaven as soon as they die. That is still the First Resurrection. (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:23,51,52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) That they rose at different times does not change the fact that they all belong to the First Resurrection. The same thing goes for the Better Resurrection. All those in this category will not resurrect at the same time, but in their own order and their resurrection will be before the battle of Armageddon. Those for the Better Resurrection will all live forever. None of them will die again – unlike the General Resurrection where some, out of disobedience, will die the second death.
CUSTOMS AND PRACTICES
The Conference addressed a practice that has silently crept into the Church: that of sisters who have lost their husbands staying at home without coming to service until the husband is buried. Also some wear dark clothes and some others sleep on the floor. How such a practice came in is difficult to tell except that it may have been borrowed from the customs of those who do not know God in truth. While appreciating the distress of a widow at the time of the husband’s death which will make it difficult for her to attend service, it must be pointed out that it is spiritually unhealthy and smacks of lack of understanding for a Christian widow to abstain from service, until the time of the husband’s burial which sometimes stretch into months. Rather she should attend service after a short while so that she would hear exhortations to strengthen her in the Lord. It should be noted that when wives die, the husbands (that is the widower) continue to come to service and other activities of the Church. This is commendable.
As promised in the 2002 Ministers Conference Report, the Conference revisited the issue of Condolence Assembly, which is still banned in the Church. The Conference commended in the Lord Branches in the Church who despite their request that the matter be re-visited complied with the Lord’s Ministry’s instructions. (1 Peter 2: 13) The Ministers agreed that there is no sin in doing or not doing Condolence Assembly but frowned and felt utterly disappointed at the fact that Lagos State Branches have been holding Condolence Assemblies in the name of Condolence visits, in outright disregard and defiance of the Lord’s Ministry ruling on the matter. With such attitude on their part, unbanning it now will set a bad precedence in the Church. The ban therefore remains. We pray God to help us keep to instructions for our own good. – Proverbs 4: 13; Hebrews 13: 7, 17; Ecclesiastes 9:18.
Conference noted that several sisters in the Church are now keeping to the dress code of the GKS, avoiding indecent dressing that expose the body. We commend such sisters in the Lord. Regrettably however, some are walking outside the track God has laid out for their benefit. Besides some sisters indulge in excessive make up as if they are competing with the peacock in the variety of colours they have on their faces. The Bible enjoins us to exercise moderation in all things and that we should not follow the fashion of this world which passeth away. (Philippians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17) We should not do things for which “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of”. (Romans 2:24; 2 Peter 2:2) The GKS Women Fellowship Committees of the various branches should ensure that they set up units of Sisters to enforce the ban on indecent dressing.
Henceforth no sister who is not properly dressed or who paints will be shown in the Watch and Pray Television Service programme as they are no good advertisements for the God’s Kingdom Society. Notice will also be placed at the gate of Salem City to warn the public against dressing indecently into the compound.
Special Thanksgivings are occasions when members thank God in the presence of His people for His goodness on them. Such thanksgivings are usually followed by donations in cash or kind or both to the Church. Some members however are in the habit of dictating where their material gifts should be placed. In view of that, Conference deems it necessary to educate members that gifts given for Special Thanksgiving or Vows are given to God, Who is being represented by the Lord’s Ministry by His grace and that the use to which such item will be put is at the discretion of the Lord’s Ministry – as she takes into account the needs of other branches. Any member who intends to donate any item for the use of his or her branch is free to do so but should not give such as Special Thanksgiving or for redemption of a Vow.
Also some members refuse to mention God’s goodness to them or do Special Thanksgiving because they do not have enough money to host a party. This is not proper. Some others spend heavily for entertainment of guests but deposit only a relatively small amount for Special Thanksgiving to God. This is sheer misplacement of values. It is the one given to God that is more important. The Conference emphasized that Special Thanksgiving is principally the determination to do the will of God because of His goodness on one. Giving of token donation to God for the continuation of His work is also encouraged in the Holy Scriptures. (Psalm 50:14,15; 116:12-14,17-18; Romans 12:1-3; Proverbs 11:25) Members should know this so as to order their priorities accordingly.
Brother Moses O. Owivri has been elevated from Intermediate to the rank of a Senior Minister by the grace of God. He is redeployed to the Accounts Department of Salem City. He had been based in Benin City as Resident Minister of Edo State Branches.
POSTING OF MINISTERS
- Brother J. E. Ikoba who has been earlier redeployed to the Headquarters to carry out relief duties for the Vice President while he was overseas is now withdrawn from Ughelli to resume his duty as Chairman of Publicity Committee of the Church;
- Brother F. E. Adedokun, formerly Resident Minister, GKS Rivers State Branches, now transferred to Ughelli as Station Minister;
- Brother Abraham A. Erha, formerly Minister in charge of Western States, now transferred to Port Harcourt as Station Minister;
- Brother Daniel Ikpuri, of the Works and Electrical Department in Salem City transferred to Ibadan as Resident Minister;
- Brother T. O. Esimagbele, formerly Assistant Resident Minister, GKS Edo State, now appointed substantive Minister in charge of Edo State Branches;
- Brother T. C. Mazi-Rapu, Secretary to the Ecclesiastical Court, Salem City, will proceed to Yenagoa as Resident Minister;
- Brother Israel Odiete now posted to Kano to assist Brother G. I. Ochiagha as Assistant Resident Minister;
- Brother E. U. Oddo, who has been in charge of the Feedstore in Salem City is transferred to Irri as Assistant Resident Minister GKS, Isoko Branches.
These postings will take effect from the end of August, 2003 by God’s grace.
Brothers T. O. Ugoji and O. M. E. Alihie are now deployed to the Ecclesiastical Court as Secretaries.
The following members of the Lord’s Ministry have been promoted from General Members to Recognised Members. They are Brothers:
- Emmanuel Iwoh
- Joshua Esimagbele
- Alfred Nwabuikwu
- Samuel Adiawa
- Godswill Okoh
- Chukwufunanya Okoh
Sisters who have also been elevated as Recognized Sisters are Sisters:
- Esther Ukuta
- Elizabeth Hart
- Margaret Atumuto
- Ope Iwoh
- Sarah Chukwudi
- Helen Edemhanria
- Queen Dirisu
- Blessing Okocha
- Oluwatosin Afonughe
- Blessing Ugoji
- Barasi Owivri
- Funmilayo Esimagbele
- Philomena Mazi-Rapu
- Charity Ekiseowei
STATE OF THE NATION
2003 General Elections
Conference thanked God that all but one of the Nigerian general elections in the calendar for this year have been held and winners installed into offices. Conference regretted the violence that attended the elections in some areas and appeals to those participating in the forthcoming council elections later in the year to avoid such iniquitous acts as burning of houses, thuggery, killings etc. While congratulating those now installed into offices, we exhort them to rule in the fear of God so as to leave a good name for themselves after their tenure. (Proverbs 22:1; Ecclesiastes 7:1) The Bible says: “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” and that “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God”. (2 Samuel 23:2; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10) On the other hand, those who lost should accept the results in the spirit of sportsmanship. Recent events in Nigeria’s contemporary history should teach one and all that those who lost today could win another day.
We exhort the government to ensure that the current programme of restructuring the local government system in Nigeria and indeed other programmes slated for execution are done to ensure equity, peace and progress of the people, particularly the poor. -Psalm 41:1-3; Nehemiah 5:1-15.
Rising Crime Wave
The rate of robbery with violence has risen dramatically in recent times and many Nigerians are virtually living under siege. Irrespective of the economic conditions in the country today, there can be no excuse in the sight of God for any one to engage in robbery and the shedding of innocent blood. Whatever is attained by such means is under curse and the culprits will not go unpunished. Scripture says: “Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.” – Proverbs 20:17; see also Hosea 4:1-3.
While thanking God that lecturers under the umbrella of the Academic Staff Union Universities (ASUU) have returned to work after almost six months strike, the Ministers Conference called on the governments, federal and state, to beef up their level of funding to the universities and other tertiary institutions in the country so that the generality of Nigerians who cannot afford private universities will have access to quality education.
1. Youth Assembly, an annual gathering of GKS youths to build themselves up spiritually in the Lord. This year’s assembly is to be held at zonal level on the 23rd of August, 2003
2. Freedom Day, in commemoration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, – to be held in all the Sundays in October, the 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th of October 2003
3. Feast of Tabernacles, a Feast God commanded His people to celebrate in this last day. This year’s Feast of Tabernacles will hold from Sunday the 14th – Sunday the 21st December, 2003 by the grace of God.
Conference took note of the recurring crisis in Warri which has given rise to apprehensions by members about coming to Warri for the Feast of Tabernacles. Though Warri cannot but continue to be the venue of the Feast of Tabernacles, at least for some time to come, there is the need to develop an alternative venue for the Feast in the outskirts of Warri. For the Feast of Tabernacles 2003, Warri is tentatively fixed as the venue God willing. But if the curfew now in place continues, the Feast may shift to Sapele. These two venues will be kept in mind in planning for this year’s Feast of Tabernacles.
The Ministers Conference commended the Laity for their support for the work of God generally within the Conference year. While thanking the members for the sacrifice they have been making in the interest of New Jerusalem, the Ministers prayed God Almighty to provide for the members and help them to realise their target in the forthcoming National launching slated for June 29, 2003 by the grace of God.
The Conference ended on Saturday June 21, 2003 by the grace of God. In his closing comments, the President thanked God for directing the deliberations of the Conference and for enabling the elderly Ministers as Pa J. T. Okome, E. A. Adedokun, M. O. Iwoh, D. O. Eme and J. I. Igbo-Atumuto to attend. The President drew his closing charge from Hebrews 12:28, exhorting members of the Lord’s Ministry to work hard till the end so as to attain salvation. The Conference ended at 7.40 p.m. after a closing prayer by the President.
Special Thanksgiving Service
A Special Thanksgiving Service was held on Sunday June 22, 2003 to thank God for all He had helped the Church to achieve during the year and for the success of the Ministers’ Conference. The Vice President preached the sermon for that day entitled “The Goodness of God” during which he gave account of his trip to the United Kingdom and Romania. The report showed that the three months visit of the Vice President had greatly invigorated GKS London Branch. He held series of meetings with them to better educate them on the doctrines, customs and practices of the GKS, making them to understand that the law against wearing of trousers and other forms of indecent dressing is a law of God and not the law of man and so should be obeyed. The sisters are now complying by God’s grace. He also reogarnised the Administrative and Women Fellowship Committees of the Branch. On May 2, 2003 the Vice President visited Romania where he was warmly received. The next day, he spent several hours at the True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses convention held at Alba Layan, Romania, attended by thousands of delegates from several European countries, answering questions on blood transfusion, preaching from house to house, memorial supper, among others, inspite of the language barrier between them. Many of them confessed that they were hearing of such explanations for the first time. Mr. Stoica, the leader, who came to the 2002 Feast, identified himself and his family as the first members of GKS in Romania. At Sheffield the Vice President was cheerfully received by Mr. Bill Blackmoore and ten of their colleagues who engaged him in further discussions on doctrines, which were all answered by God’s grace. In his comment on the sermon, the President, Brother O. E. Aighalua, later read an e-mail from Mr. Blackmoore expressing interest to attend this year’s Christian Feast of Tabernacles along with some other delegates from England.
We thank God for helping us to the end of this year’s Ministers Conference and pray Him to help us to implement the decisions reached according to His will for the progress of His Kingdom on earth through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
Patrick O. Ekireghwo,
General Secretary, GKS
June 21, 2003.
RETURN TO CONTENTS | RETURN TO GKS HOME PAGE